Co-variation and varieties in modern Dutch ethnolects

F.L.M.P. Hinskens, Linda van Meel, Roeland van Hout

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Ethnolect features typically have different origins. In emerging ethnolects, features are moreover in flux and structural relations between variable phenomena have not yet fully crystallized, so that the strict co-occurrence, conjunction or disjunction between variants is probably rare. In this contribution we focus on the co-variation of a range of linguistic variables in emerging Moroccan and Turkish varieties of Dutch spoken in the Netherlands. We address the question whether features with different origins can be freely and randomly mixed. Is the variation entirely free and consequently co-variation as well, or are there co-occurrence restrictions on their use? When correlated usages are encountered, are they better understood as consequences of internal factors, or as indicators of social (specifically ethnic) coherence? In our data for young Moroccan and Turkish varieties of Dutch, both linguistic and social or ethnographic factors make the linguistic variables cohere, although the linguistic rhyme and reason is the first one to catch the eye. On a more refined level of analysis, one cluster of features shows no social differentiation whatsoever, while one cluster of features appears to be areally defined and two others by the speakers’ ethnic background in interaction with both their age and areal belonging.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-86
Number of pages15
Issue numberMarch-April 2016
Early online date10 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2016


  • language variation; language contact; dialect; ethnolect; linguistic variable; coherence; co-variation


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